About Irina Gonzalez

NYC-based journalist, web editor & food writer. Digital media at Latina magazine & The Latin Kitchen by day, blogging Healthy Latin Food by night. #Healthy365Photos

Whole30 Day 1: Asparagus, Joining the Gym & a Small Dinner

I’ve been thinking about restarting Whole30 for a while now. After attempting (and quitting after 15 days) back in January and an ever shorter attempt #2 back at the start of April, I still wanted to do it. I wanted to go the entire 30 days and see what happens.

And so, on a whim, I restarted it today.

My best friend Justin (who actually edited the Whole30 cookbook) started it on Saturday, and totally inspired me to do it again.

Whole30-Day1-Lunch Continue reading

And I’m Back!

Hey guys, I know I’ve been absent for a while… but I’m back!

I won’t bore you with a ton of stupid explanations. All you really need to know is that life has been busy and, while it’s busy still, I really miss writing here. So now I will!


You can expect more great original recipes from me, of course, but also something else…

I’ve decided to expand some of the things I write here. I mean, sure, recipes are great. We all love recipes. We all love learning how to make our favorite Latin dishes healthier, or how to incorporate Latin ingredients and techniques into other healthy recipes. And I love doing that. But I also love something else: writing about my weight loss, how I (try to) keep the weight off and what’s going on in the world of health and healthy eating.

And to be honest, I miss writing about those things. So why not do it here?

The other thing I should probably confess is that I am not exactly at the weight that I want to be. I’ve hinted about it before, but I am finally really ready to do something about it.

I rejoined Weight Watchers recently, and am pretty committed to more healthy cooking and some serious clean eating. I’ve even managed to lose some weight since, but I definitely have some ways to go. And I can’t wait to share the journey with you!

Want more Healthy Latin Food? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. And if you have any questions about my writing, weight loss or recipes, feel free to email me here!

Holiday Survival Smoothie

Holiday Survival SmoothieWhen it comes to the holidays, most of us throw our diets out the window and plan to worry about it on Jan. 1. But I have another trick up my sleeve.

Instead of pretending like winter weight gain doesn’t exist until the new year, I plan ahead and stay (relatively) healthy throughout the holidays with a very special holiday survival smoothie recipe. In fact, this year I’m even going to send the recipe with my holiday cards so all my friends and family can share in it too.

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What Led to My Dream Job as Food Editor

Someone told me recently that they reach for the same dreams that they had as a child because that’s when we have the courage to dream the biggest. I don’t know if I completely agree with that, but dreaming big has always been very important in my life.

As a kid, I remember loving to draw and paint, weaving broad strokes in all kinds or crazy colors. I remember baking with my Russian great grandmother in her tiny house, forever since associating the smell of cinnamon with memories of her. I remember my love of art transforming into a love of the written word, as I read and wrote more in my teens.

Eventually, this all led to a love of magazines, a college major and finally a career in journalism. But it was my personal journey of weight loss, and subsequent learning to cook in a healthy way, that led to my passions for the written word, my visual creativity and my love of cooking to marry in onto an integral part of who I am today. It’s why I started this blog, it’s why I’ve spent the last few years writing and it’s why today I have started my dream job as Food Editor at SheKnows.com.

I loved working at Latina magazine and our sister site, The Latin Kitchen, for the past year and a half. But I knew deep down that what I wanted was to work full-time in food editorial. And I can’t believe that my dream has actually come true.

Now, I don’t want to downplay this. I’ve spent my post-college years working my butt off, learning as much as I could from great bosses, taking recreational classes, and reading as much as I could about the things I was passionate about. But what started as a somewhat casual interest grew into who I am today.

“Kids, when you reach your late 20s, you might be
that you still don’t have life figured out.” 

When I first heard that quote from How I Met Your Mother‘s Ted Mosby, I was struck by how true it was. I’m halfway through the year 28 and, in a lot of ways, I know I don’t have life figured out. But today I also know one thing for sure: everything I’ve worked for up until this point has finally come together into one amazing package–and I couldn’t be more thrilled to get started.

I hope you’ll stay tuned here at Healthy Latin Food as I continue to share personal stories and favorite recipes with plenty of sabor. And please do come check out SheKnows’ Food & Recipes channel. There’s some exciting stuff to come.


Avocado Apple Breakfast Smoothie

HealthyLatinFood_AvocadoAppleSmoothieOkay, clearly I’ve been on a serious smoothie-making kick lately. It started with the Kale Avocado Smoothie and proceeded with the Chayote Kale Smoothie.

But it turns out I’m not done yet, and I just can’t get enough.

To be honest, it started with me trying to lose some weight and continued because I found that making smoothies to have for breakfast during the work week was just the easiest way to start my mornings.

This time I decided to go back to my first all-star ingredient, the avocado, and add my all-time favorite apple, the Granny Smith. And since I am now officially addicted to making breakfast smoothies with Greek yogurt (seriously, it’s the best!), some of that, too. And that’s how my latest, the Avocado Apple Smoothie, was born.  Continue reading

Mexican Bean, Corn & Kale Salsa with Chorizo


A few weeks ago, one of my very best friends moved in with a wonderful man–and I couldn’t be happier for them. In fact, when it came time for their housewarming, I wanted to make something really special to bring to the party.

Now, I’m Cuban but Jesse and  I (the friend in question) have an ongoing joke about me being Mexican thanks to a drunken comment made by him years ago. It’s too hard to explain, but suffice it to say that I knew making a Mexican-inspired dish was the way to go. And with it being a party, I wanted something that would be easy for people to munch on–and somehow came up with this Mexican Bean, Corn & Kale Salsa with ChorizoContinue reading

Chayote Kale Breakfast Smoothie

HealthyLatinFood_KaleChayoteSmoothieRemember when, last week, I discovered the “Latin” produce section at my local grocery store and went gaga over the jicama? Yes, I’m sure you do–my Mexican Cole Slaw was the oh-so-yummy result.

Well, this week is a very similar story. Only this time my love affair started with chayote.

Chayote, which originated in Mexico but has since spread all over Latin America, is a member of the gourd family along with melons, cucumbers and squash. However, I find that its texture and flavor is a little similar to pears–and that’s why I decided to make a smoothie out of it.

After the delicious success of my Kale Avocado Smoothie, I knew I wanted to try another one with kale, too. I have to say, I love the extra bit of sweetness that the chayote brought to this breakfast smoothie. I would definitely try this one again, and maybe even with a bit more chayote than the first time.  Continue reading

Mexican Cole Slaw with Avocado Verde Dressing


I was walking through my local grocery store a couple days ago, when I came across a little corner of the produce aisle that I more-or-less can call the “Latin” section. It had yellow and green plantains, boniato (a.k.a. Cuban white sweet potato, one of my favorites for mashing) and–gasp!–jicama, something I’ve only seen in restaurants until now.

In case you didn’t know, jicama is an edible root vegetable similar to a turnip. It originates in Mexico, and is often known as a Mexican turnip or Mexican yam. And although it looks like a yam, its texture is crunchy and sweet–just like a turnip. Immediately, I had the idea to take this crunchy veggie and incorporate it into a Mexican-style cole slawContinue reading

Kale Avocado Breakfast Smoothie


I’ve loved a lot of smoothies in the past, and I am sure that I will love many more in my future. But no smoothie will speak to my heart quite as much as this incredible Kale Avocado Breakfast Smoothie.

Here’s a little confession first: my mom has gotten into the habit lately of sending me kale in the mail. It sounds a bit nuts, I know, but in the past two years she has really grown her green thumb and started planting all kids of vegetables and fruit.

Over Christmas, I came back with citrus from home–which I used to make some of my other favorite breakfast smoothies earlier this year. With the latest gift from mom’s garden, I decided to go back to making healthy breakfast smoothies–this time with kale! Continue reading

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